What is biological aging?
At least one thing is certain in life — we all age, but we do have a choice (to an extent) whether we age gracefully or not. Why’s that? It’s because chronological and biological age are two very different things. Chronological age is how long you have existed, i.e., 50 years, but biological age refers to how old your cells are based on genetic and lifestyle factors.
While there’s not much you can do about your chronological age, many different lifestyle factors can impact biological aging. In fact, LaserAway conducted a study on the youngest-looking cities in America and found that obesity, poor sleep, and smoking are some of the most influential factors when it comes to accelerated biological aging.
How does lifestyle affect aging?
Lifestyle choices and habits can have a significant impact on your biological age, and certain health factors could give you years back on your average life expectancy. Habits that influence aging include exercise, diet, stress levels, alcohol consumption, amount of sleep, tobacco use, and relationships.
In LaserAway’s study, they found that residents in many of the youngest-looking cities in America have lifestyle habits that are more likely to give them a more youthful appearance. For instance, the youngest-looking cities in the US maintain below-average rates for binge drinking and obesity and have fewer sleep problems compared to the national average. Residents in these places are also more physically active, smoke less, and maintain healthier stress levels.
LaserAway’s study discovered that residents in the least young-looking cities in the US are more likely to be obese, experience sleep issues, smoke tobacco, have higher stress levels, and have increased sun exposure. Residents in some of these cities are also more likely to consume alcohol on a regular basis and lead sedentary lifestyles, accelerating biological aging.
What does LaserAway’s study tell us about how lifestyle impacts biological age? A lot! If you want to slow down the aging process and age in healthy ways, you should:
- Refrain from smoking
- Maintain a stable, healthy weight
- Get 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night
- Cut back on alcohol
- Exercise several times a week
- Limit sun exposure and use SPF when outdoors
- Reduce your stress levels
- Follow a healthy diet that includes plenty of unprocessed foods, fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains
If tackling all of these areas at once seems too lofty of an ambition, break down your health and wellness goals into bite-sized, more achievable ones. Remember to start small and slow!
There’s no shame in wanting to slow down the aging process
It’s undeniable that aging is a part of the human experience. And if you want to naturally maintain your youthful appearance longer and extend your life span overall, you should follow specific lifestyle habits. But, a little outside help doesn’t hurt sometimes— specific aesthetic treatments, like injectables, for instance, get near-immediate results without any downtime.
Want to learn more about which skin treatments can help support your healthy aging? Check out LaserAway, the nation’s leading aesthetic dermatological provider.